Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai of Nintendo compares his experience with developing Super Smash Bros. to George Lucas creating the Star Wars prequel movies.
Filmmaker George Lucas knows a thing or two about rabid fan bases. After all, the man created Star Wars, perhaps the most successful film franchise in history, and as a result, he and his work has been the subject of much criticism over the years. Masahiro Sakurai, best known as the director of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo, has recently likened his experience working with Super Smash Bros. to what he feels George Lucas must go through in regards to fans criticizing Star Wars.
Sakurai wrote on this subject in his latest column in Famitsu. He explained that it makes him sad and frustrated to know of the verbal abuse and criticism that Lucas went through with Star Wars, especially after releasing the infamous prequel trilogy. In his column, Sakurai suggested that he goes through the same thing in regards to comments from the Super Smash Bros. fans.
"You could say my body is filled with these feelings. Making something, and completing it is a huge undertaking, and there are a lot of places where fans can't see. It's like building a house, but people focus on a single painting that's hung up on a wall in one room, and fixate on it, and keep listing off their complaints of that painting. These situations are very common."
The Super Smash Bros. and Nintendo fan base are a passionate group, and this results in Sakurai's work coming under extreme scrutiny, perhaps even more than other developers face. Sakurai pointed to the addition of Cloud Strife as Super Smash Bros. DLC as a recent source of criticism he's contended with, saying he has received countless "trivial statements" about Cloud since the character's announcement. While many were excited to see Cloud Strife added to the roster, especially in light of the recent announcement of the Final Fantasy 7 remake, others feel as though the Super Smash Bros. rosters should consist of nothing but Nintendo characters, hence the complaints lobbed at Sakurai.
Of course, Sakurai is not suggesting that fans shouldn't voice their opinions about Star Wars, Super Smash Bros., or anything else. He went on to explain in his column that he believes that negative opinions are amplified due to a "mob mentality," and so the positive comments are buried. To put his previous house metaphor in other terms, Sakurai feels as though people are too quick to criticize without taking all factors into account, and he'd like to see that change.
While Sakurai's column is unlikely to change the way people express their opinions, especially on the Internet, perhaps it will make some people think twice before going on an online tirade about trivial matters. Unfortunately for the Smash Bros. director, however, he is probably never going to be able to escape such online abuse, as fans seem to consistently have something to complain about, whether it's yet another Fire Emblem character being added to the roster or whatever else. In light of all this, it will be interesting to see if Sakurai will opt to keep himself in the public light by making the inevitable next Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo NX or work on a less high profile project instead.
The latest Super Smash Bros. is currently available for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U.